Vincent De Haître and Brianne Tutt win 1500m races at the 2018 Long Track Team Selections
Speed Skating Canada – Kali Christ, De Haître, Denny Morrison and Tutt added to the provisional Olympic Team
Calgary, January 6, 2018 – Vincent De Haître and Brianne Tutt respectively won the men’s and women’s 1500m events, Saturday, at the 2018 Long Track Team Selections that are slated to be held until Tuesday, January 9 at Calgary’s Olympic Oval.
In the men’s 1500m, Vincent De Haître from Cumberland, ON, skated to a time of 1:43.44 on the way to finishing first, followed by Denny Morrison (1:44.13) from Fort St. John, BC, and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (1:45.24) from Sherbrooke, QC.
After having already met the time standard of 1:44.14 in the fall, De Haître and Morrison were the only two to skate under that time, Saturday, and therefore earned two of the three spots available to Canada in the men’s 1500m for the 2018 Olympic Games.
De Haître and Morrison have therefore been provisionally named to the Canadian Long Track Speed Skating Olympic Team and would represent Canada at the PyeongChang Games in the men’s 1500m, depending on the final team composition based on maximum skaters per country, i.e. 10 men and 10 women for a maximum number of 20 skaters per country.
“Going into Olympic trials is always a little emotional and I was nervous,” admitted Vincent De Haître, who would be taking part in his second Games after the 2014 Olympics. “I’m glad that today I was able to put together a really good race. I’ve been working on some stuff in terms of speed and today was definitely a good day for me and I definitely think that was probably one of my better races of the season.”
Denny Morrison could be taking part in his fourth career Olympics, where he won a medal each time out.
“I crossed the line and I knew I did what I had to do, but I knew I could have had an even better race,” said Morrison. “I didn’t feel exhausted like I normally do in my best races. I feel like I’m capable of the results that I was capable of before all of what I lived through. I feel like I’m back! It leaves me inspired to do even more. I’ve been setting realistic goals for myself and now, a realistic goal is a podium in South Korea.”
“It’s not just a victory for me in speed skating, but a victory for all the support staff that got me here. It’s a huge milestone today and a huge victory for myself and the overall team. I also hope it’s a victory for other stroke survivors or others that have gone through something similar to me to know that you start with the goal post close and then keep moving them further, because it’s an accumulation of those small steps that’s got me to this.”
Kali Christ provisionally named
In the women’s 1500m, Brianne Tutt from Airdrie, AB, won the race in 1:55.88, followed by Kali Christ (1:55.94) of Regina, SK, and Ivanie Blondin (1:56.43) from Ottawa, ON.
Tutt, who had already qualified for the PyeongChang Games in the women’s 3000m event, and Christ therefore earned two of the three spots available to Canada in the women’s 1500m for the 2018 Olympic Games, as they not only took the spots based on their respective ranking, but they also achieved the qualifying time standard of 1:55.35 this fall.
Tutt and Christ have therefore been provisionally named to the Canadian Long Track Speed Skating Olympic Team and to represent Canada in PyeongChang in the women’s 1500m, depending on the final team composition based on maximum skaters per country, i.e. 10 men and 10 women for a maximum number of 20 skaters per country.
For Kali Christ, these would be the second Olympic Games of her career, as she skated in the 1000m, 1500m and team pursuit events at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
“I knew with only one pair left that I could be in the top three and I already had the time standard, so it was kind of a big relief in that moment. After all of the work I’ve been doing over the past two years dealing with injury and getting back into it, it was a really good feeling!”, said Kali Christ, who didn’t start racing this season until well into October after a ligament that stabilizes her hip was stretched, forcing the muscles around it to work so hard that she couldn’t skate more than two laps in a row.
Early this fall, she got a non-surgical treatment called prolotherapy which improve the situation greatly.
“It probably wasn’t until my first World Cup this fall that I started thinking that I could possibly be in contention to qualify for the Olympics again,” she explained.
Brianne Tutt, for her part, qualified for a second event at the PyeongChang Games after earning one of the three available spots in the 3000m.
“It was a good race, but not my best race,” said Brianne Tutt, who was at the 2014 Games. “It’s nice to get this out of the way, qualify for the team and continue to be the top Canadian in this distance.
“The first Olympic experience is definitely a learning experience just to see how everything is. I definitively learned a lot. I wasn’t really going in as a competitor because I had never been ranked top 5 or top 10. Now I have a top 5 finish in the 1500m and a top 10 in the 3000m, so I’m going in with higher expectations for myself.”
Earlier Saturday, Laurent Dubreuil provisionally earned the third spot available for the PyeongChang Games in the men’s 500m after William Dutton was unable to finish the second and last 500m event at Canada Cup #2 held Saturday morning.
Since each country can only name a maximum of 20 athletes for the long track events at the 2018 Olympic Games, including a maximum of ten (10) women and ten (10) men, depending on quota spots, Dubreuil’s spot is conditional to the fact that he be nominated among the 10 men on the Canadian team for the PyeongChang Games.
Following the 2018 Long Track Team Selections, and depending on how many athletes meet the criteria, Speed Skating Canada will follow the order of priorities, as stated in the 2018 Olympic Selection Policies and Processes, to respect this number of maximum athletes allowed per country at the Games.
“The last 12 hours were not fun, having to live with the stress of seeing whether William (Dutton) would meet his time standard,” admitted Laurent Dubreuil. “He didn’t do it and that’s good for me. It keeps me in the game. If he would have done it, I would have been eliminated from the 500m. It turned out well for me, but there is still a lot of distances and skaters who can do great races. I cannot control what others will do. I still have one thing that I can control, and that’s my 1000m. I’ve already met the time standard in that distance and my job now is to do this race at the best of my capacities and hope that it will be enough.”
1000m to follow on Monday
Skaters will have a day off on Sunday and will then resume the competition on Monday, as the men’s and women’s 1000m will be held.
In both events, Canada can have a maximum of three skaters as long as athletes achieve the time standard of 1:08.01 for the men and 1:14.46 for the women.
No skater has prequalified for any of the two events. However, Heather McLean from Winnipeg, MB, who has already been provisionally named to the Olympic team in the women’s 500m event, as well as Kaylin Irvine from Calgary, AB, on the women’s side, in addition to Vincent De Haître from Cumberland, ON, and Laurent Dubreuil from Lévis, QC, who have already been provisionally named to the Olympic team in the 1500m and 500m events respectively, as well as Alexandre St-Jean from Quebec City, QC, on the men’s side, have already met the time standards.
Held simultaneously to Canada Cup #2, the 2018 Long Track Team Selections events start each day at 5 pm (Calgary time). Admission is free.
Racing is also be webstreamed live on CBC Sports’ website (http://www.cbc.ca/sports), Radio-Canada Sports’ Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/radiocanada.sports) and website (http://ici.radio-canada.ca/sports), and Calgary’s Olympic Oval YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/theolympicoval).
The final Canadian Long Track Speed Skating team for the 2018 Olympic Games will be introduced at a media event on Wednesday, January 10, at 12 pm (Calgary Time), to be held at Jack Singer Concert Hall (205 8 Ave SE) in Calgary.
The full 2018 Olympic Selection Policies and Processes are available at www.speedskating.ca/2018-og/long-track.
Additional details are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey. www.speedskating.ca
Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:
Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis
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Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Phone: 514 213-9897